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Dumb Question

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October 26, 2009 6:04:12 AM

Hey all ... I have a pretty basic question that has been bothering me.

I know I have a system worthy of being called ancient :

3.3 ghz lga775 <o.c.>
1 gb ddr 440 <o.c.>
GeForce 7600GT <agp>


But i wanted to know ... If I increase my ramm 2 1.5 gb ... will i notice any difference or will i bottleneck with my processor\gfx card ...

Thanks in advance.

More about : dumb question

a b } Memory
October 26, 2009 6:40:50 AM

You mean, increase your RAM to 1.5GBs? By adding a 512MB module? How many slots do you have for RAM? How many modules do you have installed now?

If you have 2 - 512 modules now and the system runs in dual-channel mode, adding a single additional module will slow down memory access. But even so, the gains made by having 50% more RAM will likely be better.

No system is ever bottlenecked by having more RAM - they all love it!
October 26, 2009 7:40:19 AM

Sorry 4 my last post being a bit hazy ... I have only got 2 ram slots ... I built my pc a while ago as u can tell ... ... Its not dual channel ... I was thinkin of getting a 1 gb chip and removing 1 x 512 chip ... so that my system has a total of 1.5gbs ...

The reason I want 2 do this is because ... I can play most games ... ok some have 2 be set 2 low\med gfx wise ... but there are some games that kill my system ... I didnt want 2 waste money adding an extra 512 if it was barely going 2 effect performance
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October 26, 2009 12:06:31 PM

I do believe most intensive games today use around 500~700MB or ram. Though it really mostly helps when you want to do more things (i.e. lots of different apps).
It may or may not improve loading and some stuttering, but when you constantly get low fps, then the 7600gt might just be unable to keep up.
a b } Memory
October 26, 2009 12:23:19 PM

Yes, for about $30 you should get noticable improvement in all operations. Of course, for about $60 you'll get even more! I'm assuming you use DDR RAM and looking at prices of single 1GB modules.

If you post the make and model of your system board, we can verify exactly what RAM you should get. For example, if you do want to go to 2GBs, your MB may support a slightly faster RAM than you have now. (If you have, for example, DDR 333 / PC 2700 now and get DDR 400, a single added module will still run at the older 333 speed.)

Since you have an old system, be sure that any RAM you buy is returnable. Just in case it doesn't work.

Here's something that will give you some info about how your memory is being used now. Assuming you're running Win XP, press Ctrl-Alt-Del at one time, click on Performance. It'll show you some info. The Physical Memory shows in KB how your current RAM is being used. Divide by 1024 to get MBs - 1GB equals 1024 x 1024 x 1024. (The System Cache will increase when you add more RAM, so you can't expect all 512MBs to be given over to applications.)

Also note the Commit Charge - that Peak should show the max memory that's been called upon be a program since booting. Might check it after booting then again after running a game.

Also keep in mind that any money invested now in your system may be wasted if you are able to upgrade your components later - or sooner!
October 26, 2009 12:47:29 PM

I agree that my 7600Gt just does not cut it ... but I am financially stuffed so I must make do with small upgrades I can afford ...

I have the best ram my motherboard can handle ... DDR 400 ... which I am overclocking through my BIOS ... it runs at 440mhz ... Windows xp sp2 plus my anti virus etc uses a permanent 368 mb ram ... ...

Most games say 1gb ram needed ... is that after what windos\anti virus and other running programs use or complete ram regardless ??
a b } Memory
October 26, 2009 1:00:27 PM

Generally, the 1GB they mention is total RAM, nothing subtracted. They understand the system has an overhead. That's why you may see it showing 1GB with XP and more with Vista, etc.. Of course, having LOTS of resident programs can affect those calcs - it's why you need to keep an eye on anything that runs on Startup, especially the sneaky ones in the Registry. Ctrl-Alt-Del can give you some idea about that too.

If you had an integrated GPU like mine, you have to subtract the amt that this uses of system RAM when considering software, but this issue doesn't affect you.

I know about the tight choices. I ended up upgrading to my new MB, RAM and CPU when all I was trying to do was go from 512MB to 3GB of RAM. The 3 modules of DDR ran almost $130 - and didn't fix the problems I was still having with booting anyway. So I returned that $130 to the kitty, knowing I could get 4GBs of DDR2 for about $75, then invested the savings towards the $160 for new motherboard and cpu.
October 26, 2009 1:26:10 PM

When it comes 2 upgrading .. My problem lies with the graphic card ... I can get a new lga775 motherboard and ramm 4 under R1500 < I am from South Africa and component prices are rediculous > ... My current processor will fit the new board ... but graphic cards go 4 about ... R 3 000 ... which completely throws my upgrade out the window ... 1$ is R7.50 ...
a b } Memory
October 26, 2009 7:04:32 PM

Yes, and don't want to build new system around old GPU. Good luck with it and none of these were dumb questions. Anyone who takes the time to ask some questions before they go out and spend money on the wrong things is quite smart!

I'd go with a modest increase in your RAM - can't say it'll fix all your problems but overall, your computer will run faster for sure.
October 27, 2009 3:53:38 AM

Thank You Very much Mongox !! ... Your advice was greatly appreciated.
!